Mercy Health Physician Partners Cardiovascular Earns Multiple Accreditations from Intersocietal Accreditation Commission

Health Physician Partners Cardiovascular has received multiple accreditations —for Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology and Vascular Testing — by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC).

A special recognition banner was recently presented to the staff, to help ensure that patients and their caregivers understand that the facility has demonstrated a comprehensive commitment to quality care.

IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can count on, knowing that this facility has undergone a rigorous evaluation of its daily operations in conjunction with nationally recognized standards. Congratulations to the entire team! Learn more about Mercy Health Physician Partners Cardiovascular

Mercy Health Muskegon Offers Robotic-arm Total Knee Replacement Surgery

For many people, it’s inevitable.

Persistent knee or other joint pain due to injury or arthritis leads them to consult a surgeon about their options for joint replacement. Often it is after trying other therapies, such as injections or physical therapy, to reduce their pain and improve their mobility.

Mercy Health is pleased to announce that patients now have another surgical option to consider for surgery: robotic-arm total knee replacement surgery. The key advantage of this technology is improved accuracy for implantation. Precise adjustments can be made during surgery to customize the procedure for each patient’s unique situation.

Using a virtual 3D model, the Mako System allows surgeons to create each patient’s surgical plan pre-operatively before entering the operating room. During surgery, the surgeon can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic-arm to execute that plan. It’s exciting to be able to offer this transformative technology to perform total knee, total hip and partial knee replacements. Mercy Health has already completed 177 surgeries using this robotic technology. Learn more

Jesus Took the Wheel

 A survivor of sudden cardiac death shares his story

Jim Young can’t remember the accident he had in 2018 while driving a semi from Holland to Grand Haven, Michigan.

The driver in the vehicle behind him said that Jim had signaled to turn right on Hayes Street in Grand Haven when, instead, the truck veered left and crossed the median and lanes of oncoming traffic on U.S. 31. Jim’s big rig ended up wedged in the brush.

Luckily, a retired doctor — who usually traveled along another route — happened to be on Hayes Street and heard the crash. He and others got Jim out of the truck, where Jim was pinned in the cab on the driver’s side. Jim had suffered sudden cardiac death.

On the day of the accident, Jim remembers driving to Holland from his home in Muskegon, but even now, “I don’t remember anything after that,” he added.

The doctor who stopped to help Jim “worked on me doing CPR. Then EMS came and shocked me five times. They never gave up,” he said with appreciation. “God was with me that day.”

The night before, Jim had no symptoms. “I was running around playing ball in the backyard with our youngest granddaughter,” he shared. “I had no chest pains or light-headedness beforehand.”

Jim’s wife, Gwen, added, “He was healthy as a horse.”

EMS transported Jim to the Mercy Health Mercy Campus, where Cardiologists John Skallerup, MD, and D. Dirk Bonnema, MD, attended to Jim.

“It was a rough time,” said Gwen. “They didn’t think that Jim would make it. We even called our granddaughter who was in Basic Training in San Antonio to see if she could come home.” She came immediately.

“Dr. Skallerup and Dr. Bonnema were very good to my wife,” said Jim. “They didn’t give up on me, even though they said it didn’t look good.”

Dr. Skallerup inserted three stents and connected Jim to an external defibrillator, saving his life. “All of the doctors and nurses who helped us out were so good and kind to us,” said Jim.

Nearly a year later, Dr. Skallerup (now retired) referred Jim to Dr. Bonnema, so Jim could have an internal defibrillator implanted. “If my heart gets out of rhythm, the defibrillator will shock it,” Jim said. “I am grateful to all of the doctors who have this technology to save people.”

Jim’s most recent cardiac procedure has brought peace of mind. “We feel more confident that Jim has a lifesaving device implanted. It’s our security blanket,” Gwen added.

“I would recommend Dr. Bonnema to anyone,” said Gwen. “He is so caring, so thoughtful, so loving. He explains everything so you can understand. He didn’t fail to give me a hug when I needed it.”

The Youngs describe Mercy Health’s medical care as “top of the line.”

Mercy Health has a great crew,” said Jim. “We highly recommend Mercy Health.”

“They need to make more doctors like those two [Skallerup and Bonnema] because of the caring, support and love that they give families,” said Gwen.

Despite the damage Jim’s heart sustained, Jim still works three days a week, although no longer driving for the company. “It makes me get up in the morning and get out and do something.”

He and Gwen also take walks together, exercise several times each week at a gym, go camping and bike riding together, and often care for their 8-year-old granddaughter.

Gwen and Jim say they don’t take things for granted anymore. They try to live each day to the fullest.

“We plan on traveling to see our granddaughter who is now in the Air Force in Okinawa, Japan,” said Jim. “We’ll go in December.”

Gwen calls Jim her miracle and says that the Lord is watching over him because of his strong faith.

“Everything seemed to work out…from Jim being in Grand Haven at the time when the doctor was on Hayes Street, to his not hitting anyone and not smashing up the truck, to Dr. Skallerup being there to put in the stents, to being able to get a  hold of our pastor to come to the hospital…to my daughter hearing ‘Jesus Take the Wheel’ on the radio when we weren’t sure if he would make it.”

Learn about Mercy Health’s Heart & Vascular Services

Photo of Trailer: Taken by Becky Vargo. Used with permission of Grand Haven Tribune.


Mercy Health Breaks Ground on New Facility in Norton Shores

Muskegon, Mich. (November 14, 2019) – Mercy Health has begun work on a new, 40,000-square-foot facility at 3570 Henry Street, previously the location of the former Kmart, on the corner of Seminole in Norton Shores. Scheduled to open in February 2021, it will offer Family Medicine, Urgent Care, Pharmacy, X-ray, Physical Therapy, Aesthetic Services and Lab Services.

The new facility is designed for patient convenience, bringing several key health care services under one roof. It will consolidate three primary care practices in the area into a single location: Harborwood Family Medicine, Harbour Pointe and Norton Family Practice. Once open, the new facility will house 25 primary care providers.

“Mercy Health is striving to make health care more accessible to our patients,” said Kristen Brown, MD, president of Mercy Health Physician Partners. “This is an opportunity to bring together three of our established practices alongside diagnostic and specialty services so that patients can receive care in one, convenient location.”

The Norton Shores facility is among Mercy Health West Michigan’s newest outpatient centers. Similar facilities opened in North Muskegon and Hudsonville in 2018. Each of these facilities was designed with the patient in mind, through feedback contributed from patients and providers.

The new facility was designed by Lindhout Associates Architects, and Elzinga & Volkers Construction is the general contractor. The facility cost is approximately $20 million.

October 2019 DAISY Award Recipient Pauline Hayes

While caring for a patient in the ICU on the Mercy Health Hackley Campus, Pauline Hayes, RN, had made a great connection with the patient and the patient’s spouse. Then her shift changed. The nurse who nominated Pauline for this award was the nurse who then took over the patient’s care.

During that time, the spouse kept asking when Pauline would be back. To complicate matters, a grave diagnosis came in, which the spouse was unable to fully understand. To top it off, the staff was unable to reach relatives to come and offer support to the spouse. Our care team was so busy with testing and patient care, that we had little time to attend to the spouse. That’s when Pauline called in to check and see how the patient was doing.

Hearing how things were going, Pauline came in to see this couple on her day off. She sat with the spouse to review the complex diagnosis and explained what the care plan was. She also listened to all of the spouse’s concerns and offered comfort and compassion. The spouse was so touched and thankful.

On a personal note, the nominating nurse said this of Pauline: “Pauline is an amazing nurse and mentor. I am a better nurse from being guided by her.”

Congratulations, Pauline!

Mercy Health Announces Closing of Heartside Health Center at End of 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN, November 8, 2019 – Mercy Health has announced that it is closing its Heartside Health Center at the end of the year.

Mercy Health Heartside Health Center, located at 359 S. Division Avenue, will see patients until December 20, 2019, and will be available to patients by phone until December 30. Patients were notified by mail in early November. Staff have been working with other local practices to plan for patient transitions, and are also calling patients, posting flyers in nearby facilities and informing patients who come into the office.

Heartside Health Center is helping all patients to choose a new provider and transfer their medical records to a nearby provider. To start the process, patients have been advised to do one of the following:

  • Visit com/find-a-doctor/
  • Call Heartside Health Center at 616.685.3800 to talk about where patients can receive future medical care.
  • Stop by the Health Center to speak with a staff person directly.
  • If the patient already has an appointment scheduled before December 20 (last day of scheduled appointments), ask about future care at that time.

Patients can request their medical records at any time by calling 616.685.3180.

Earlier this year, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s five Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) hosted site visitors from Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). HRSA lauded the high quality of care, but stated that it is no longer able to overlook non-compliance with governance-related requirements that Saint Mary’s cannot meet and, as a result, HRSA will discontinue about $4 million of annual government grant funding to these clinics within the next several months.

“Since learning that HRSA will discontinue their funding, our leadership has been focused on ways to provide continued care for our patients and optimize retention of government funding for some of the most vulnerable of the community’s populations,” said Hyung T. Kim, MD, MBA, president of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. “Closing Heartside Health Center and partnering with other organizations in the Heartside Neighborhood is an important part of the plan to accomplish those goals.”

“We are fortunate to be in a community where there are other FQHCs and community organizations in our immediate area that are excited to receive our patients and serve as their new medical home,” said Kristen Brown, MD, president of Mercy Health Physician Partners. “We’ve been working with our patients since October to help them transition their care to another provider.”

The broader plan for the remaining clinics was developed as part of a formal discernment process, which allows the other four FQHCs to remain open after being converted as follows:

  • Browning Claytor, located at 1246 Madison Ave. SE in Grand Rapids, will remain open and continue to serve the Southeast Community Association and Madison Area neighborhoods of Grand Rapids and beyond. The clinic will become a sustainable, primary care outpatient department of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, operated by its medical group, Mercy Health Physician Partners.
  • Clinica Santa Maria, located at 730 Grandville Ave. SW in Grand Rapids, will remain open and continue to serve Roosevelt Park and neighboring communities. It will likely do so as part of an existing FQHC in Grand Rapids, which has yet to be determined. This transition will include the addition of on-site dental services. Mercy Health’s commitment to Plaza Roosevelt will continue with pharmacy and lab services.
  • For synergy and sustainability, dental services may transfer from the present location of Mercy Health Dental Clinic, currently located at 781 36th Street SE in Grand Rapids, to Clinica Santa Maria and likely to the local FQHC of which it may become a part.
  • In association with Mercy Health Lakeshore, Sparta Health Clinic, located at 475 State St. in Sparta, will become a Rural Health Clinic operated by Mercy Health Physician Partners. Sparta will continue with its contract to serve migrant workers.

Each year, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s provides nearly $50 million in uncompensated benefit to the Grand Rapids community.  The additional funding from the HRSA grant helped provide important resources to serve these vulnerable patients.  Mercy Health is committed to working with its community partners to optimize retention of government funding for some of the most vulnerable of the community’s populations.

“As our community and its health care needs evolve, our mission has always stayed the same: Improving the health of our community – especially for those who are most vulnerable,” said Kim. “We continue to invest in our communities with programming, education and health care services, provided in compassionate and innovative care settings.”


About Mercy Health and Mercy Health Physician Partners

Mercy Health is a regional, multi-campus, Catholic health care system serving West Michigan and the lakeshore with four hospital campuses, more than 90 physician offices, more than 1,300 medical staff physicians, more than 800 hospital beds and more than 9,000 colleagues, and hospice, home health and long-term care service offerings. Mercy Health Physician Partners, our multi-specialty medical group, employs more than 800 physicians and advanced practice professionals in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Holland and the lakeshore. Mercy Health has annual operating revenues of about $1.4 billion and returns about $80 million to its communities annually through charity care and community benefit programs. Mercy Health, a member of Trinity Health, is committed to being a trusted health partner for life, transforming the communities we serve, by providing high-quality care that is the most accessible, compassionate and personalized in West Michigan. Visit us at

Helpful Tips for Those Living with Diabetes

It’s not easy finding out that you or a loved one has diabetes. However, educating yourself about this disease is the first step toward feeling better and living a longer and healthier life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 30.3 million Americans — 9.4 percent of the U.S. population — are living with diabetes. Another 84.1 million have prediabetes, a condition that if not treated often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years. November is American Diabetes Month and Mercy Health would like to help you live a healthy life by providing some helpful tips for managing diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) offers the following suggestions to help navigate treatment if you or a loved one has been diagnosed:

  • Create a health care team. Finding the right team of skilled health professionals will help you manage your diabetes and get the most out of your care. Ask your doctor to help you build a team to assist you in reaching your goals and feeling better. As part of the care management resources available to you, you may receive an outreach call from a nurse. When a nurse calls, please be sure to return the call and take advantages of the services offered to you.
  • Be the star player on your team. Self-care is the best way to maintain your good health. You can help keep yourself well by eating right, staying active, taking your medicine, monitoring your blood glucose and making and keeping doctor appointments.
  • Keep a close eye on your blood glucose levels. Your doctor may want you to start checking your glucose (or blood sugar) levels at home. If so, you will need a small machine called a blood glucose meter. Your health care team can help you find the best meter for your needs. Keeping your blood glucose levels in a healthy range is key to controlling your diabetes.
  • Take your prescribed medications. To help keep your blood glucose in the target range, it’s vital that you take your medications as prescribed by your doctor. If you believe you’re having side effects, be sure to call your doctor or pharmacist.

As you know, developing and maintaining a relationship with a primary care physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Practice. If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

Find a Mercy Health provider

When you’re being treated for a disease or condition, it may not always be easy to decide where to go for care. For anything that is considered a life-threatening situation like chest pain, major injuries, or sudden and severe pain, it’s best to go to the emergency room.

For less severe matters that still require immediate attention, if you can’t get in to see your PCP, going to an urgent care facility can save you time and money.

Even if you require emergency or urgent care for your health situation, it’s always best to have a relationship with a PCP who knows your history and understands what is happening with your health over time.

Mercy Health is committed to helping you live a healthy life by nurturing well-being through body, mind and spirit.

All Ministries of Trinity Health Michigan Rated as Top Workplaces

SJMHS, IHA, Mercy Health and Mercy Health Physician Partners were featured in Detroit Free Press on Nov. 10

For the first time in our history as a statewide health system, all of the Michigan ministries of Trinity Health have been named to the Detroit Free Press’ list of Top Workplaces. The prestigious list appeared in a special section of the Sunday edition on Nov. 10.

Over the summer, colleagues from Mercy Health, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, IHA and Mercy Health Physician Partners were invited to take an anonymous survey from Energage that measured several aspects of workplace culture based solely on employee feedback.

“It was a unique opportunity to capture the impressions of all colleagues working in hospitals, health centers and physician practices throughout our statewide health system – together in one survey,” said Ane McNeil, Chief Human Resources Officer for Trinity Health Michigan.

In the midst of major transformation as we form the Michigan Region, along with TogetherCare and other major initiatives, our colleagues took the time to rate us a Top Workplace. Out of 21,745 colleagues across the state, 11,525 responded to the survey invite for a 53% response rate. They also shared 25,894 comments about our organization.

“We are truly grateful for the high level of engagement,” McNeil said. “The Top Workplaces distinction lets patients, physicians and prospective employees know that our people endorse our organizations as great places to work.”

Rob Casalou, President and CEO of Trinity Health Michigan, said compassionate and patient-centered health care starts with colleagues who have the support, resources and personal commitment to being a transforming healing presence in the communities we serve.

“We strive to make Mercy Health, SJMHS, IHA and MHPP an inspiring place to work and one where collaboration, innovation and inclusiveness are at the heart of everything we do,” Casalou said. “We are honored to be recognized as a Top Workplace and will continue to strengthen colleagues with the skills and resources to provide health and healing to the people we serve.”

The Top Workplaces List will be a featured section in the Sunday edition of the Detroit Free Press.

“Thank you for creating an environment our colleagues consider to be among the best in Michigan,” Casalou said.


2019 Best Practice Award from the Michigan Pharmacist Association Earned by Mercy Health Saint Mary’s

The award plaque.

“Misuse and overuse of antibiotics is one of the world’s most significant public health problems,” said Lisa Dumkow, PharmD, BCPS, BCIDP, Clinical Pharmacist, Antimicrobial Stewardship, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.

To combat this growing crisis, Dumkow and Mercy Health have been expanding Mercy Health Saint Mary’s antimicrobial stewardship program. As a result of their innovative practices, the Michigan Pharmacist Association has awarded Mercy Health Saint Mary’s with the 2019 Best Practice Award.

Introduced in 2013 at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, an Antimicrobial Stewardship Program promotes the appropriate use of antimicrobials (including antibiotics), improves patient outcomes, reduces microbial resistance and decreases the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms, according to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

“At first, we began in the inpatient setting of the hospital,” said Dumkow. “Ever since, we have been rapidly increasing our footprint in outpatient settings through education, information and through the use of dedicated emergency medicine and ambulatory clinical care pharmacists.”

With the assistance of Mercy Health’s Emergency Department Pharmacists Kasey Brandt, PharmD, BCPS, and Lauren Wolf, PharmD, BCPS, the antimicrobial stewardship program was expanded to include the Emergency Department at Saint Mary’s in 2014.

In 2015, the program was introduced to Urgent Care facilities, an innovation that the Michigan Pharmacist Association has recognized as award-worthy.

Lisa Dumkow, PharmD, BCPS, BCIDP, Clinical Pharmacist, and Emergency Department Pharmacist Kasey Brandt, PharmD, BCPS, accepting the award.

According to the association’s formal letter to Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, the 2019 Best Practice “award is presented annually to a pharmacist or group of pharmacists for their involvement and participation in an innovative project that contributes to professional practice.”

“Mercy Health Saint Mary’s was the first hospital in the country to incorporate its antimicrobial stewardship program into Urgent Care settings,” Dumkow said. “Studies indicate that around the country, as many as 15% of antibiotics are prescribed through an Urgent Care setting, making it imperative to have stewardship guidelines and practices in place for the safety of our patients.”

Also given that 60% of the antibiotics in the United States are prescribed in an outpatient setting, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s has begun dedicate ambulatory clinical care pharmacists’ time to antimicrobial stewardship in some Mercy Health Physician Partners offices.

In 2017, MHPP Walker-Standale office began its program, quickly followed by the Wege Family  Medicine Residency Clinic in 2018. Within this past year, both MHPP East Paris Office and MHPP Rockford Office have begun their antimicrobial stewardship programs.

“We have been working well in advance of The Joint Commission requirements that all outpatient settings have dedicated antimicrobial stewardship programs in 2020,” said Dumkow.

Each year, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) create awareness around the use and misuse of antibiotics through Antibiotics Awareness Week, with the theme, “Get Involved,” celebrated in 2019 on November 18-24, 2019.

For colleagues interested in getting involved at a local level by becoming a part of the antimicrobial stewardship team, please feel free to reach out to for more information.

Three Mercy Health Hospitals Nationally Recognized with an ‘A’ for the Fall 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN, November 7, 2019 – Three Mercy Health hospitals were awarded an ‘A’ in fall 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade a national distinction recognizing Mercy Health’s achievements protecting patients from harm and providing safer health care. The hospitals receiving this recognition are: Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Mercy Health Mercy Campus and Mercy Health Hackley Campus.

Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, the other health system that makes up Trinity Health Michigan, also received an ‘A’ for three hospitals: Saint Joseph Mercy Chelsea, Saint Joseph Mercy Livingston and Saint Joseph Mercy Oakland.

The Leapfrog Group is an independent national watchdog organization, driven by employers and other purchasers of health care, committed to improving health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers. The Safety Grade assigns an ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’ or ‘F’ grade to all general hospitals across the country based on their performance in preventing medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections and other harms to patients in their care.

“‘A’ hospitals show us their leadership is protecting patients from preventable medical harm and error,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “It takes genuine commitment at every level – from clinicians to administrators to the board of directors – and we congratulate the teams who have worked so hard to earn this A.”

Developed under the guidance of a national Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. acute-care hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.

These Mercy Health hospitals were awarded an ‘A’ grade today, when Leapfrog announced grades for the fall 2019 update. To see Mercy Health’s full grade details, learn how employers can help and access patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit and follow The Leapfrog Group on Twitter and Facebook.

About The Leapfrog Group

Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

About Mercy Health

Mercy Health is a regional, multi-campus, Catholic health care system serving West Michigan and the lakeshore with four hospital campuses, more than 90 physician offices, more than 1,300 medical staff physicians, more than 800 hospital beds and more than 9,000 colleagues, and hospice, home health and long-term care service offerings. Mercy Health Physician Partners, our multi-specialty medical group, employs more than 700 physicians and advanced practice professionals in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Holland and the lakeshore. Mercy Health has annual operating revenues of about $1.4 billion and returns about $80 million to its communities annually through charity care and community benefit programs. Mercy Health, a member of Trinity Health, is committed to being a trusted health partner for life, transforming the communities we serve, by providing high-quality care that is the most accessible, compassionate and personalized in West Michigan. Visit us at